Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the House

Yes!  We are still in the throws of moving.  The only room that has not yet been attacked with paper, boxes and tape is my studio.  It is just so hard to walk in and try to imagine putting everything in a box, so I tell myself, "later, later".  Eventually there will be no more later, and the day will come to pack it all up.  But not today!

The house we are moving to is in the historical district in Eastern Georgia.  Once upon a time, it had tremendous gardens tended by the home's owner, a tiny woman in advanced age. The stories told describe her out in the early morning hours, every day.  As we walk around the house, there are signs of blocks and pavers and pathways although most have sunken down and nearly disappeared into the surrounding ground.  These will be excavated, and sand used to lift them back up.  We found wild ginger growing in the front yard and in a  bed outside the back door as well as old roses and the largest Pyracantha either of us has ever seen!

The oak and dogwood trees have grown over the years and the front yard spends much of the day in shade, a perfect place for lots of ground cover.  Vinca is the likely choice with it's low, dark green vines and purple flowers.  Just in front of the house are large Nandina plants that must have overgrown the windows.  They have been cut back very hard, but will still need to be moved to a location in the back as there is no longer enough sun in the front to sustain them.  My vote to fill the front is Gardenia bushes.  They smell heavenly!  As my new studio space is just behind the windows on the left side, wouldn't that be a treat? 

There is also a trumpet vine growing in the back yard that is at least 20 inches in diameter.  I have never seen one so large.  That's it in the left side of the picture, recently cut back and already sprouting new vines.  If you aren't familiar with the southern favorite, it blooms with the most amazing orange flowers that are trumpet shaped and will do so through out the summer.  It grows a little like mint, in that you have to watch it as it will send shooting vines out from underground in every direction.  If you like to plant it and forget it, this is not for you!

back yard

Now here is a picture of the secret of this house.  If you look very hard, you might just barely see a hint of the surprise.  We have always named the houses we have lived in, and no doubt this one will somehow involve the gardens. For now, we have named this area the Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden

There is this little opening along what appears to be a wall of bushes and weeds.  In fact, the opening is Muscadine vine and even though nearly suffused in other weeds, there are fruits hanging on the vine now.  Step through the wall and it is an entire garden all its own.  It is circular and surrounded with bamboo and ornamental grasses.  It is stunning even overgrown with weeds!  We immediately could see our outdoor table and chairs here with overhead lights wound through and across the tree branches.  If you too, carry the blood of the earth keepers, you will understand our delight.

Perhaps what will be needed too, is just a few honey bees to help things along and keep it all blooming.  I suspect my husband has that well in hand as he has been a beekeeper for years.

The inside of the home needs a little Love after some neglect and we have already begun to open our hearts to the treasures inside.  I am learning that my husband knows all sorts of things about repairing old windows and other issues that are cropping up.  Just one more reason to admire him. 

Thank heavens my husband and I both consider gardening the perfect therapy.  I saw this online, and laughed.  Just what we need, an invitation for the garden elves and flower fairies to come and help! 

Back to packing, for now.  Maybe I will get my studio done today!  I feel inspired!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

wise words

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another thought...

Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
                                                                     ~Joseph Campbell

An email arrived for me today with this quote included and it fits so perfectly with my day today that I have decided to share it with you all here.  Enjoy!

Thought for Today

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you've imagined.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler;
     solitude will not be solitude,
     poverty will not be poverty,
     nor weakness weakness.

                         Henry David Thoreau

Friday, June 15, 2012

Packing the house!

Well, if you wondered why my blog is sort of haphazard, it is because we are moving!  Cleaning, sorting, packing and all the excitement of digging through drawers normally ignored, for good reason.  So, things are a little more odd here at the homestead. 

My husband, knowing of my struggle with pictures, brought home a slab of shiny black, not being sure if it is granite or marble.  It is very heavy, so it's anyone's guess.  I really like the way it shows off some of my new pieces.

I cannot believe how wonderful it looks, and it shows enough contrast that I can see items clearly which thus far has been hard!   This bracelet with handmade lamp work beads by artist Beth Blosser at Pomegranite Glass may never leave my sight! 

Compare it to the same item on white marble.  Enough said!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party!

A reminder to those who are interested, the Lori Anderson Bead Soup Blog Party is getting ready to start!  Sign ups start tomorrow and are on the Pretty Things blog page.  You can also click the button to the right on my blog which takes you to all you need to know!

Monday, June 11, 2012


 Like nearly every morning since about my 40th birthday, I woke this morning at 3:33 am.  I once tried to figure out how much sleep I was missing compared to the doctor recommended 8 hour a night people.  The math was too complicated for my addled, sleep deprived state of being.

It did take some time for me to adjust to this not sleeping. I had no choice. I did at first try everything and anything that anyone suggested.  Melatonin, Valerian, Benadryl, even Excedrin PM to name a few.  I tried journaling, reading before bed.  Nothing worked.  I have no trouble going to sleep, I just don't stay asleep for very long.

I obligingly  tried some sleep medicines prescribed by my doctor after my husband begged him to do something to make me 'normal' again. He wasn't too fond of the new me.  This man, who falls into bed like a sandbag, already asleep before he hits the pillow for a solid 8-9 hours was losing his grip.  Men of course, like to fix things.  I had become broken in a way that was ravaging everything in our lives.  I was becoming rather Mean.  I actually started to stomp about, constantly angry and frustrated, unable to find a solution and not at all happy with the situation.  I was all kinds of scary.


Some of you may remember the commercial for the Army that came out years ago. It went something like, We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!   Inspired by this strategy of productivity and adopting it as my own, I would wake, know it would be hopeless to get back to sleep, and fling myself up.  I would clean the house and do the ironing.  I would scrub the kitchen, the doors and floors, the baseboards and even dust imaginary cobwebs.  You could find me on a ladder, swiping the leaves of my banana tree at 4 am.  The only thing the husband-unit requested was that I resist the frenetic urge to vacuum.  That's really not hard to understand.

In the beginning, I seemed to flourish in the fervor of Accomplishment.  I was so proud!  This only lasted a little while as once it's clean, it's done and housework is really not my life's passion.  Mornings like this would be followed by a full day at the office, cooking dinner, maybe some laundry.   I must have exhausted my adrenaline, because I soon began to wane, a total crash immenent on the horizon.

After about a year of this, I moved into a new state of being.  Friends at work would find me at some point in the day, very still, eyes staring fixedly.  It was suspected that I was moving into a new state of daily mundane existence, which they called wide-awake-asleep.  Only I knew I wasn't asleep, only drifting in some sort suspended animation. I heard every word of the conversation when my friends Monika and Julie pronounced me 'coma-tized'.  

After watching my struggle for three years and still wanting desperately to help, my husband purchased a lovely new computer replete with writing software.  He pronounced me ' witty' and thought I should write a book.  At first I was just angry thinking that he was trying to get me to write a best seller and earn money so he could retire!  That was silly and untrue, but my thinking on anything was less than stellar and more often completely irrational!  To this day, I am amazed that he did not bury my body one cold night in the backyard. I had become beyond awful and what was worse, I knew it but seemed to just be losing control of everything.

I tried to write. I came up with ideas, made notes, read how-to books. For about 6 months I threw myself into it, every morning.  Only I couldn't remember from day to day what I had written or where the story was going.  The best character I could compose was addled,  grumpy, sleep deprived and made little conversation.  Not the fodder for a best seller, it bored even me.  And it seemed so familiar.

 Then I heard Wayne Dyer speak to the issue once on a PBS special. This fabulous motivational speaker surmised that if we are being awakened regularly at an early time of the morning, then Spirit was trying to speak to us and we should get out of bed and pay attention!  He was so enthusiastic, I had to try it.  If praying is talking to God, then meditation is listening. I started listening. I still listen, every morning. It's a wonderful thing to be still and silent and be aware of my own heartbeat, the rain, the dog snoring, the owls hooting or to begin to hear the birds at breaking dawn, all carrying messages of the Creator. It did not help my sleep, and if God had an in-your-face message, I was on the wake up call but seemed tuned in to the wrong station.

There are times when I have a feeling I've done this before, and not from some long lost previous incarnated life, but from This One.  I've wondered if this new affliction is because I don't actually sleep long enough for things to enter my long term memory storage.  We took a weekend trip to Charleston and I ate shrimp and grits for what I thought was the first time and loved it.  What I could not escape was the feeling that it really wasn't the first time.  I mentioned it to my husband whose memory clamps on things like a steel trap.  He was quite certain it was not the first time.  He promptly rattled of the name of the previous restaurant, the year, the city, the state. Everything about the meal.  It was hard not to get annoyed with him for being so detailed or with myself for only having a vague feeling of familiarity! 

 So what if we of the sleep deprived don't always remember everything?  All things are made new again in a most unusual way and maybe it becomes a little easier to laugh at ourselves and enjoy the adventure of life.  Certainly there are things that are so delightful that it is a treat to get to experience them again, for the first time.

The years have passed.  Rounding the corner on 51, it seemed to me recently that I had lost something.  I began to understand the gift of this state of the minimal sleepers.  If you ask me about my life, you will hear funny stories, snippets of memories and flashes of insight into a fertile craziness, most from a very unusual point of view.  

I used to be able to remember everything in detail, high definition as it were, maybe better than my husband.  Now things are more selective and I remember best the events that were filled with Love.  Times of great joy and merriment, where people are kind and caring about each other are what I remember best.  The events of the world that carry a freshness, a brilliance and the promise of hope are what fill my memories now.  My perspective has changed just as the struggle and adaptation have changed me physically.  The dark circles under my eyes have lightened, and more laugh lines have cracked the surface of my face.  I see better in the darkness of the wee hours now too, and rarely trip over the dogs, who appreciate this immensely.

So too, the harshness is gone from my memory, all painful experiences somehow are eased with time or forgetfulness to make room for the laughter and the smiles.  Misspoken words, mine or theirs fall away to a place unknown or unrecorded and I no longer carry misery or wounding as those things just are not able to be contained in my mind or heart.  It is easier to just let them go with the short sweet darkness of limited sleep than to save and thrash them about, with me every day.  My memory is not failing, but has become proficient in knowing what matters and making the most of the processing time it is allowed.  In this way I have become more efficient, a product of the long stalemate between the longing for sleep and the morning charge of the awake well before sunrise.


My lingering appreciation is that when the days are so long there is just so much of the world to see, to find, and to explore that it becomes exciting, even overwhelming!   The sheer beauty, the infinite grace and the boundless Love are magnified.   Once I released my sleep frustration and surrendered to this way of being, it opened my heart to receiving the world in a new way. The endless hours of time spent awake transformed into fodder for Inspiration, Creativity and Passion to begin bursting at the seams! 

I don't lie in bed anymore fighting this 4 hour cycle.  Now I wake, filled with excitement and the knowing that I will have more time to do all the things that I want to accomplish in my life.  Once accepting this state of affairs, I also found a new wonder.  Naps! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

What we did this weekend

Oh, don't worry...we promise to only let him drive rental cars!

Love My Art Jewelry- Contest Reposted for you here

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Free Earrings!

MaryAnn Carroll

Free.... if you leave an entry and win!

The beads hanging from the copper chain are wood-fired ceramic. To learn more about wood-firing, check out this blog post, which will have links leading to other links..... all about the wood-firing process.

To win:

1. Just stop by any of our following spots on the web listed at the end of this post (up to three entries) and come back letting us know what you discovered there.

2. Share this post on your blog, Facebook, etc. (up to three entries) and let us know that you did.

3. Find three past posts on our blog (up to three entries) and let us know what you liked about them and/or what you found helpful and informative.

4. Mix and match 1, 2, and 3 above (up to three entries).

Find us on:

Please be sure to leave an email address so that I can contact you. Only those who include a contact will be included in the drawing. I'm sorry for any inconvenience.

The winner will be announced on the sidebar giveaway button on June 20th.

As always....
Thank-you for supporting those who create handmade with handmade.